Succulent Buying Guide - Tips on Selecting a Healthy and Beautiful Succulent Plant
There are plenty of ways to get beautiful succulents - you can trade with your friends, pick them up at your local garden center or buy succulents online. Understanding the basics of identifying a healthy succulent plant will save you both time and money. This succulent buying guide will ensure you choose the very best plant possible and help you with the most frequently encountered succulent problems.
Identify Signs of Succulent Diseases
The most crucial step when choosing a succulent is to find one without disease. Although succulents are hardy plants, they can be prone to certain infestations, fungal diseases and rot. Be sure and check around the new growth area for signs of mealy bugs and aphids. These bugs just love the tender succulent plant!
Fungal disease can be a result from damage or overwatering, so check for a white to black powdery infection on the leaves. If seen, time to move on to a different plant!
Succulents are very susceptible to rot when overwatered. Check the base of the stems and leaves for signs of rot- leaves that are shriveled, soft, translucent or black are all bad signs. Also, excessive loss of leaves may also indicate root rot.
An unhealthy plant may show a long stem due to insufficient lighting conditions. Long stems irreversible, so try to choose plants that are more compact in shape.
Succulent Shapes, Sizes, and Number of Heads
Even the same species of succulent can come in many different shapes and sizes. Look for symmetricity, an upright and strong stem, compact and colorful leaves, or simply find one (or several!) that delights you.
If you love to propagate succulents, you should look for plants with many heads. (The number of heads equals the number of plants you could divide into.) Even if you remove them as offsets without any roots; they can be easily rooted in weeks to months. You can also buy succulent cuttings if you don't want to pull from your current mature plants.
Temperature and Succulent Growing Seasons
Succulent growing seasons are the Spring and Fall, which is a great time to stock up on new indoor plants. Most succulents can tolerate heat, but their growth will slow down considerably during the summer. Watering in summer can be a bit tricky for beginners, as heat and moisture combined is the number one killer for succulents. It’s critical to stop watering your plant when the temp goes over 95° F. Same goes with winter and freezing temperatures as most tender succulents cannot tolerate very low temperatures and will suffer freeze damage.
Succulent Soil, Fertilizer and Repotting
If you just bought a new succulent plant, it's best to remove the old soil as soon as you can and repot it, so prepare ahead of time and buy succulent soil and a cute planter. Shop our favorite picks below. It's also a good idea to use fertilizer as this will help your plants grow and fight disease. We like this one, which is a combination plant food and fertilizer, you just sprinkle it on the soil before watering. Great to use on all of your houseplants!
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